Yet in spite of these similarities, there is also a very curious difference between the American panic of 1776-7 and the American panic of 2005-6. To put it in the simplest and starkest terms: in that early stage of the Revolutionary War, there was sound reason to fear that the British would succeed in routing Washington’s forces. In Iraq today, however, and in the Middle East as a whole, a successful outcome is staring us in the face. Clearly, then, the panic over Iraq—which expresses itself in increasingly frenzied calls for the withdrawal of our forces—cannot have been caused by the prospect of defeat. On the contrary, my twofold guess is that the real fear behind it is not that we are losing but that we are winning, and that what has catalyzed this fear into a genuine panic is the realization that the chances of pulling off the proverbial feat of snatching an American defeat from the jaws of victory are rapidly running out.
Of course, to anyone who relies entirely or largely on the mainstream media for information, it will come as a great surprise to hear that we are winning in Iraq. Winning? Militarily? How can we be winning militarily when, day after day, the only thing of any importance going on in that country is suicide bombings and car bombings? When neither our own troops nor the Iraqi forces we have been training are able to stop the “insurgents” from scoring higher and higher body counts? When every serious military move we make against the strongholds of these dedicated and ruthless adversaries is met with “fierce resistance”? When, for every one of them we manage to kill, two more seem to pop up?
Winning? Politically? How can we be winning politically when the very purpose for which we allegedly invaded Iraq has been unmasked as a chimera? When every step we force the Iraqis to take toward democratization is accompanied by angry sectarian strife between Shiites and Sunnis and between each of them and the Kurds? When our clumsy efforts to bring the Sunnis into the political process have hardly made a dent in their support for the insurgency? When the end result is less likely to be the stable democratic regime we supposedly went there to establish than a civil war followed by the breakup of Iraq into three separate countries?
There has been one great exception to this relentless drumbeat of bad news: it occurred in January 2005, in the coverage of the first election in liberated Iraq. To the astonishment of practically everyone in the world, more than 8 million Iraqis came out to vote on election day even though the Islamofascist terrorists had threatened to slaughter them if they did. This very astonishment was a measure of how false an impression had been created of the state of affairs in Iraq. No one fed by the mainstream media could have had the slightest inkling that these 8 million people were actually there, so invisible had they been to reporters who spent all their time interviewing the discontented Iraqi Man in the Street and to cameras seemingly incapable of focusing on anything but carnage and rubble.
But the mainstream media soon recovered from the shock
Read it all.
Podhoretz is absolutely correct. Certain segments of our society are in a panic. I would say they are in the middle of a full-fledged panic attack. Why? Because if Bush's policies are successful in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East--these groups know that they will be frozen out of power for years to come.
Who would listen to the MSM after they have worked overtime in the last four years to make Iraq into another Vietnam for their own glory and power?
Who would listen to the wimpy Democrats who have whined and vacillated and had to be dragged, kicking and screaming piteously (and still are to this day) to do the right thing to protect our country?
Who would listen to the lunatic Left and the remnants of the old communist/socilist religions, who have willingly aligned themselves with the enemies of freedom, and hidden their murderous 20th century ideolgies under the cover of "anti-war" and "peace" slogans. The only thing they are "anti" is American. The only "peace" they want is a piece of the action when a new set of thugs come to power. They have thrown their lot in with the enemies of civilization itself, rather than to take responsibility for the enormity of the suffering and human misery brought about by the implementation of their political views over the last 100 years or more.
Oh yes. We have seen the true colors of all these sunshine patriots and utopian demagogues--particularly in the last four years; and the more we see, the clearer it becomes that their only motivation is a desperate, panicked desire to hold onto power--especially power over other people. As they hyperventilate and grasp at straws (expect a new accusation against the Bush administration to surface regularly as each one before is shot down with facts), they can see their power and influence fading fast. They have shown they will pay any price to bring America to its knees; they will advance any falsehood; and undermine any good.
Wretchard the other day suggested that we have already been victorious in Iraq, and I agree with him. The Iraqi people have stood up and made it clear that they want and deserve freedom and democracy.
Victory when it came, was both greater and less; more partial and more complete than expected. It did not take the European form of parades down the Champs Elysee, followed by a return to old and establish ways of governance. What the destruction of the Ba'athist regime did was reanimate long suppressed local and ethnic interests and channel them into competition through the ballot box -- with the occasional recourse to violence. Tremendous forces have been unleashed which critics of the war will point to as signs of an incipient civil war, but which supporters of OIF will describe as a newly liberated society feeling its way forward.
The MSM, the Democrats, and the Left are hoping that the spell they have woven to veil the eyes and cloud the minds of the public will last a little while longer(at least into the 2006 election cycle, where they hope to get back some of that lost power).
But their whimpering and weaseling; flip-floping and blustering is simply their pretzel-like way of waiting to see if Americans will suddenly realize that we have actually won the war; brought democracy to the Middle East; and derailed a threat to human freedom and dignity so severe and barbaric, it makes Hitler and his minions seem like second-class, second-rate thugs. In other words, they are positioning themsselves to try to take credit for any victory; while at the same time they are hoping for defeat since they believe that is the quickest way for them to get their power and status back.
Granted, they wouldn't mind a victory in Iraq if they could also have the latter outcome (i.e., the defeat of Bush and the Republicans)--especially if Democrats could somehow take credit for victory in Iraq. But they are perfectly willing to facilitate defeat in Iraq, encourage and enable the deaths of American soldiers, and ensure the success of America's enemies-- if that scenario will result in the demise of their most hated opponent.
In their hearts, they know that they deserve to be in power (it was stolen from them, you see); and they are in a panic because historical irrelevance is staring them in the face. They realize that their 20th century utopian vision is deservedly crumbling and crashing down all around them and its pieces will soon join the myriad of other anti-human ideologies in the dustbin of history.
All the clinical symptoms point to a diagnosis of an acute panic episode, brought about by an inadvertant--and unwilling-- exposure to reality.